Discourse on Colonialism - Introduction: A Politics of Anticolonialism Summary & Analysis

Césaire, Aimé and Pinkham, Joan
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Summary

Academic and theorist Robin Kelley opens his introduction, “A Poetics of Anticolonialism,” with the observation that Césaire’s Discourse on Colonialism could be called a manifesto except for the fact that it is “bereft of the kind of propositions and proposals that generally accompany manifestos” (7). Kelley provides historical information for understanding the context in which Césaire wrote Discourse on Colonialism. He notes that the forties and fifties were a time of organized de-colonial revolts and agitation. “Revolt was in the air,” writes Kelley. “India, the Philippines, Guyana, Egypt, Guatemala, South Africa, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Harlem, you name it. Revolt!” (8).

Kelley then argues that Discourse on Colonialism is primarily a polemic about the injustices of colonialism, not a class-based endorsement of the European proletariat. Kelley points out the double meaning of the title: Césaire is critiquing the discourse...

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This section contains 1,083 words
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Buy the Discourse on Colonialism Study Guide
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